Dhar: At a time when climate change-induced irregular rainfal and drought have taken a toll on agriculture. Vinod Chouhan, a marginal farmer and the owner of Vinod Black Gram, a brand based in Dhar with cultivation of a high-yielding variety of black gram has stirred hopes among farmers in district this days.
Chouhan revealing how it was all started said he regularly looks for and does research on social media and got the idea of cultivating black chickpeas through social media. There are different varieties of black chickpeas and the one he is using MPK179 were developed by Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidhyapeeth (MPKY) Rahuri in Maharashtra.
"Black gram are low in fat and high in fibre, vitamins and minerals and black gram cultivation is more or less similar to cultivation of other crops in state like Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra Chattisgarh, Haryana Rajasthan, Gujarat," adding, "the climate is suitable to grow black gram."
Chouhan who regularly uploads video of his crop on different social media platforms said black gram or Kala Chana is a still rare crop among the local farmers who are not aware of this crop. There are lots of benefits of black gram. The crop is rich source of vitamin A,B,C,D, magnesium phosphorus iron potassium. It has the highest protein content among all varieties of chickpeas.
He said that difference between MPK179 and the common variety American chana is not much, but the black gram seeds has much more harvest on per acre compared to other variety. Also these seeds germinate much better and quicker than the common variety seeds.
Beside, its production depends on the weather and this the weather is more suitable for black gram crops as there is no frost or not excess cold so we are expecting 10 – 12 quintal harvest per hectare of land. Irrigation facilities and fertilizers are very important to grow any crops especially for growing crops in bulk and selling in open market.
His has marketed his product by product by promotions on social media and so far the response has been very good although he has not harvested his crops yet but his crops are already in great demand and buyers from UP and Maharashtra are showing great interest in his kalachana.